Langen Gallery honours 100 years

Upon first entering the Robert Langen Art Gallery, one is likely to notice an old Wilfrid Laurier University varsity jacket hanging from the ceiling. Decrepit and visibly aged, the varsity jacket is a representation of more than just a sports jacket honouring its former team. It is a symbol of the continuing school spirit Laurier students and alumni have proudly worn on their sleeves for the last hundred years.

The Langen Gallery’s current exhibit “Inspiring Lives of Leadership” will be on display until Nov. 12. The exhibition was created and compiled to commemorate Wilfrid Laurier’s one hundred years of educating students. Curated by Suzanne Luke, the gallery is overflowing with Laurier memorabilia and reminders of the university’s noteworthy milestones and accomplishments.

With many archival images displayed around the gallery, the exhibits projects a distinctly nostalgic feel. The photographs depict events from O-Week and Homecoming to graduation ceremonies of years passed. Beside each of the evocative images are more recent photographs, thus emphasizing the obvious progression of life at Laurier while still remaining true to the spirit that has always existed on campus.

The gallery does not limit itself to just pictorial accolades. A well-documented film with footage of Laurier in the 1950s plays throughout the exhibit, which contains interesting details about the originating history of the university. Although the documentary is too long for a brief visit, it is informative and promotes Laurier all the way through.

Other artifacts worth noting are the vintage WLU badges and student handbooks, dating back to the late 1960s. One of the most fascinating mementos found in the glass cases are the “I Eat Scum” badges that were used to initiate freshman among previous generations of students.

Although occupying only a small area, the exhibit is definitely worth a visit. It provides insight into Laurier’s development not only as a school, but also as a community, through the simplest of images and artifacts, culminating in what is truly an impressive tribute.

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